India Regulatory Brief: Approvals for E-boarding at Hyderabad Airport, Payments Banks

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E-boarding Facility in Hyderabad Approved for Domestic Flights

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, a Ministry of Civil Aviation agency, recently granted Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, Telangana state permission to implement an e-boarding scheme for domestic air travelers. Under the scheme, domestic air travelers can check-in online prior to departure before using an e-boarding card and an Aadhaar number (a government issued identification number) when entering the airport from the departure area.

Hyderabad International Airport is the first in India to facilitate the e-boarding scheme, which is part of the federal government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign. The local media report that airports in the capital Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore are currently developing pilot e-boarding schemes. The pilot schemes will likely run for a period of three months once implemented; authorities will likely need another three months to approve each airport’s e-boarding scheme following the trials.

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RBI Approves Non-lending Payments Banks

Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted eleven entities preliminary approval to establish non-lending payment banks. The payment banks will allow customers to make transfers and deposits up to 100,000 Rupees (US $1,532), but the banks will not be able to provide loans.

The payment banks represent a new category of banks in India. The payment banks are expected to target consumers that do currently hold bank accounts – such as migrant workers and low-income people in remote, rural areas – by providing bank transfer and deposit services via mobile phones at low transaction costs.

The new payment banks should provide a boost to rural savings and spending in India. At present, many migrant laborers as well as people and small businesses in rural areas conduct their financial transactions in cash. The new payment banks will allow these potential consumers to establish formal accounts for financial transactions and promote new payment schemes for these consumers.

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India, Seychelles Sign Tax Information Sharing Pact

Last week, the governments of India and Seychelles forged an agreement to share tax information. The agreement, which is designed to curb tax evasion and avoidance, will allow authorities in the respective countries to share tax information and enforce domestic laws. The agreement establishes procedures for keeping shared tax information confidential and resolving any administrative disputes related to sharing tax information between the countries.

The agreement was forged ahead of Seychelles President James Alix Michel’s August 25-27 visit to India. During the trip, the president is expected to promote greater security and economic cooperation between India and Seychelles.


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